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Questions tagged [authorial-intent]

Questions investigating a text's meaning by discerning what its author intended it to mean.

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How can we ensure a given "chiasm" was intentional by the author, and is not merely fanciful eisegesis?

What is 'chiasm'? Chiasm is a literary technique by which the contents of a portion of text are structured in such a way that they could be laid out in a ">" shape... A) This is an example of a ...
Jas 3.1's user avatar
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27 votes
4 answers
28k views

Why is Genesis careful to record the exact dates of the flood?

Genesis 7:11 (NIV, emphasis mine) In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates ...
Soldarnal's user avatar
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19 votes
5 answers
8k views

Should we put God to test or not?

Moses says "don't put God to test" (Deut. 6:16), but Malachi say "put God to test" (Mal. 3:10). You shall not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah." ...
Ernest Abinokhauno's user avatar
19 votes
5 answers
2k views

"which translated means..."

I am told that many scholars believe that the words of Jesus which we have presented to us in Greek were originally spoken in Aramaic. What confuses me then is why there are instances in the Greek ...
Jas 3.1's user avatar
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18 votes
6 answers
5k views

Did Mark intend to end his gospel at 16:8?

Mark's gospel may or may not end at 16:8. The earliest manuscripts do not contain 16:9-20. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and ...
Matthew Miller's user avatar
17 votes
4 answers
36k views

Are there two different types of "tongues" spoken about in the NT?

My question comes directly from 1 Cor 14: 2, 4: 2 For one who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God; for no one understands, but in his spirit he speaks mysteries.....4 One who ...
jirehpryor's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
525 views

How can we determine the author's intent in listing various ages in Genesis?

I believe some of the ages given in Genesis are historical, but am one of many who happens to think the earliest ages might be symbolic (example source). If this were to be the case that leaves us ...
John Martin's user avatar
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15 votes
8 answers
11k views

Did Matthew intend “evil” or “the evil one” in the Lord’s Prayer?

I previously asked a question about how to understand these words in the language Jesus was originally speaking. However, the text we have is in Greek, and I realized I’m not as familiar with the ...
Susan's user avatar
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14 votes
12 answers
38k views

In John 12:20-26 why does John include the account of the Greeks wanting to see Jesus?

20 Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast. 21 Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus....
Niobius's user avatar
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13 votes
5 answers
13k views

Herod The Fox: Luke 13-32

In the book of Luke chapter 13 v 32, Jesus refers to Herod as "that Fox": 32And he said to them, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the ...
Bagpipes's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
1k views

Does Luke's supposed profession matter when interpreting his work as an author?

Paul makes reference to a physician named Luke: Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas.—Colossians 4:14 (ESV) Tradition also assigns Luke as author of the gospel that bears its ...
swasheck's user avatar
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11 votes
8 answers
548 views

Is it possible to have saving faith in Jesus Christ if one has misunderstood who the Jesus Christ of scripture really is? Romans 1:1-4

I ask because of noting how chapter 1 of Romans deals with the person of Christ – who he is – while not dealing with what he has done to save sinners until chapter 3. Could this be significant? I read ...
Anne's user avatar
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11 votes
1 answer
338 views

Are "Christ" and "Son of God" two things or one in John 20:31?

John 20:30-31 says the following: Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written so that you may ...
Jas 3.1's user avatar
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11 votes
2 answers
370 views

What does Song 1:1 tell us about Solomon's relationship to the book?

Song 1:1: שִׁ֥יר הַשִּׁירִ֖ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר לִשְׁלֹמֹֽה׃ (BHS) The Song of Songs, which is Solomon’s.(ESV) I have seen it postulated* that the final word here (a lamed preposition prefixed to the name ...
Susan's user avatar
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11 votes
3 answers
434 views

Which idea for εἶδος is intended in 1 Thess 5:22?

Background In 1 Thessalonians 5:22, the Greek reads (no major textual variations): ἀπὸ παντὸς εἴδους πονηροῦ ἀπέχεσθε The word εἶδος (here in the singular genitive neuter εἴδους) is translated ...
ScottS's user avatar
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10 votes
4 answers
4k views

How can the 3 Questions be resolved with the math still correct?

Analyzing Noah and the Great Flood story, there appear to be 3 math problems, each with its own set of factors and calculations, that aren’t easy to resolve. First is the “2 years after the flood” ...
John Martin's user avatar
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10 votes
6 answers
695 views

According to Romans 1:3-4, did the resurrection "make" the Son of God or "declare" the Son of God?

concerning His Son, (who is come of the seed of David according to the flesh, who is marked out Son of God in power, according to the Spirit of sanctification, by the rising again from the dead,) ...
Mike Borden's user avatar
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9 votes
4 answers
3k views

Does Peter intend to identify the Pauline Epistles as canonical?

In 2 Peter 3:15-16, Peters states: And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his ...
Ray's user avatar
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9 votes
4 answers
4k views

Interpreting "psyche" as "soul"?

In the New Testament the Greek term "psyche" often, if not always, gets translated as "soul." Would the original author using that term have meant "psyche" like we mean it today? Or, more precisely, ...
P. G. Gable's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
4k views

Does Apostle Paul give a warning against different denominations?

What is the nature of the divisions identified in the original text of this statement by the Apostle Paul? 1 Corinthians 1:12–13 (ASV) Now this I mean, that each one of you saith, I am of Paul; ...
Merick Juarez's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
5k views

Is the "four hundred years" the equivalent of the "four generations" in the Gen. 15:13-16 prophecy?

Gen. 15:13 Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. ...
bach's user avatar
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8 votes
6 answers
64k views

What does Paul mean by "sound doctrine" in Titus 2:1

What does Paul mean by sound doctrine? e.g., in the following verse: Titus 2:1 (ESV) But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Today, some people talk about doctrines, some of which ...
Paul Vargas's user avatar
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8 votes
6 answers
3k views

Greek question Philippians 3:9 is it "faith in Christ" or "faith of Christ"

I'm looking at Philippians 3:9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; (...
Todd's user avatar
  • 365
8 votes
2 answers
3k views

What would Peter "bind" or "loose" on earth?

In Matthew 16 Jesus tells Peter that, as the rock on which his church will be built, he’d bind or loose things on earth. Matthew 16:18-19 (KJV) And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon ...
John Martin's user avatar
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8 votes
7 answers
14k views

Did Moses fast for 81-days straight in Deuteronomy 9:9-18?

Did Moses fast (without food or water) for 81-days straight in Deuteronomy 9:9-18 | Or did Moses eat & drink in verses 12-17? If the descent from Mount Horeb, destruction of the Golden Calf, and ...
חִידָה's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
282 views

What textual clues are there that the original readers of Genesis would have understood 11:27–50:26 in a different way than Genesis 2:4–11:26?

One fairly common argument on how to interpret Genesis says that there is a change in theme (or perhaps even genre) near the end of Genesis 11, basically that things shift from the (pre-)history of ...
ThaddeusB's user avatar
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7 votes
4 answers
4k views

What was the authorial intent of Genesis 1?

The first chapter of Genesis is one of the most hotly debated passages of Scripture -- even amongst Biblical scholars. It is often at the center of debates about the age of the earth, the accuracy of ...
Jas 3.1's user avatar
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7 votes
9 answers
3k views

Luke 16:19-31 Lazarus and the rich man - literal, allegorical or a mixture of both?

Is this merely a parable or does it present a theological concept of the after life? It suggests that Jesus was saying people only get one chance. It further suggests that once a person dies, they ...
Serving God in az 's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

Concerning the "breastplate".what is the authors intent? Book of Revelation

In the book of Revelation at chapter 6 verse 1-8 (NIV), we read about the four horses which are released when the lamb that was slain opens the seals.Read here Again in Revelation 9 verse 17, we read ...
Bagpipes's user avatar
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7 votes
4 answers
2k views

What sort of phrasing is "the many" in Romans 5?

Most English translations have something in Romans that is an interesting turn of phrase—at least to my ears it instinctively makes sense but at the same time it in more at home in a carefully worded ...
Caleb's user avatar
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7 votes
5 answers
588 views

Do the 'vessels of wrath' have libertarian free will? Romans 9:14-24

Romans 9:14-24 (ESV): 14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I ...
user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
1k views

What is Luke's purpose for recording this narrative and ultimately Jesus' reason to express this account of the rich man and Lazarus to those present?

There are people who understand this text to express Jesus warning the hearers of the potential torment of the lost directly following their death. 1. Explain why that is, or isn't the intended ...
JLB's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
2k views

What does “put at the apostles’ feet” mean in Acts 4:32-5:2?

32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify ...
adieue's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is Revelation 19:16 " A slip of the pen" , or worded this way for another reason?

When I was researching a question with reference to the book of Revelation,i came across a couple of scriptures that intrigue me.The first portion of scripture is taken from Revelation 17:14 ...
Bagpipes's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
445 views

Does the book of Ecclesiastes portray Qohelet as the author?

My understanding is that the ‘traditional’ view holds Solomon to be the author of the book who frames his own monologue by referring to himself in the third person in the prologue (1:1–11) and ...
Susan's user avatar
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7 votes
3 answers
198 views

Does God have a spirit separate from the Holy Spirit?

In 1 Corinthians 12:3 Paul uses two different expressions of spirit; “Spirit of God” and the” Holy Spirit”. Are these (2) different spirits, or the same spirit? Now, this question may be answered by ...
matt's user avatar
  • 301
6 votes
4 answers
323 views

In Romans, does Paul vary how he identifies "the Gospel" in a way which also identifies "His Son" and "the Christ" as God?

In Romans Paul uses the term εὐαγγέλιον, "Gospel" or "good news" 9 or 10 times (some manuscripts have "blessing" in 15:29). Paul first calls himself an apostle of the ...
Revelation Lad's user avatar
6 votes
8 answers
38k views

In Heb 6:4, What does it mean to "again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame"?

Heb 6:4-8 Whole Passage: 4 For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the ...
JLB's user avatar
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6 votes
6 answers
12k views

Did Mary actually leave Elizabeth before John was born?

When Mary heard from the angel Gabriel that Elizabeth was in her 6th month of pregnancy, Mary quickly left to join her. As the two greeted and the baby John leaped for joy in her womb, Elizabeth was ...
John Martin's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
633 views

Meaning of "For when a face is sad a heart may be happy"

In Ecclesiastes 7:3 (NASB) Sorrow is better than laughter, For when a face is sad a heart may be happy. What is the meaning of "For when a face is sad a heart may be happy"?
Annette's user avatar
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6 votes
4 answers
898 views

What does it mean to "walk by faith and not by sight"? 2 Corinthians 5:7

2 Corinthians 5:6-7 (ESV) 6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. What does it mean to &...
user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
438 views

To what extent do deductive approaches consider authorial intent?

Bottom-up approaches start analyzing a text by first determining the original intent of the human author of a text. From there, they use inductive reasoning to construct theories of broader meanings. ...
Jon Ericson's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
516 views

Does the literary content of Genesis 1 compel the conclusion that it is a fictive construct for corrective polemics?

It typically is held among professional Christian scholars that Genesis 1 originated as a corrective polemic against pagan creation myths. Additionally, I presume that this theory as to origin of ...
Daniel Pech's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is 2 Kings 23:25 intended to be literal, King Josiah even better than King David?

With regards to this statement about Josiah: Before him there was no king alike him who turned to the LORD with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might, according to all the law ...
Jay's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
3k views

In Heb 6:4-6, what have those once enlightened “fallen away” from?

Heb 6:4 For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the ...
JLB's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
64 views

Does 'of us' relate to both 'word' and 'epistle' (2 Thess 2:15)?

αρα ουν αδελφοι στηκετε και κρατειτε τας παραδοσεις ας εδιδαχθητε ειτε δια λογου ειτε δι επιστολης ημων [Stephanus TR 1550] Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been ...
Nigel J's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
476 views

What is the literary funciton of Acts 1:15-26?

The Book of Acts opens with Jesus' ascension and the promise of the Spirit. The disciples go to Jerusalem where their Lord had directed them to wait, and then on the day of Pentecost, the Spirit comes ...
Jas 3.1's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
221 views

Does the New Testament claim to be Scripture?

What evidence do we have that Paul, or other NT writers thought that their own writings were the Word of God on par with the Old Testament? 2 Tim. 3:16 - All scripture is given by inspiration of ...
Nocies's user avatar
  • 69
6 votes
3 answers
409 views

Emphasis in Isaiah 50:11

Does the phrase here translated - "this you shall have of mine hand" - refer to the the previous portion of the verse, or does it refer to the latter portion of the verse? Is 50:11 (KJV) ...
brmicke's user avatar
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6 votes
2 answers
193 views

To whom does "the righteous" refer to in 1 Timothy 1:9?

1 Timothy 1:9 begins: We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful... Does "the righteous" refer to those perhaps justified/...
Soldarnal's user avatar
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